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ME101: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering  

    The first unit of this course will allow you to take a close look at the mechanical engineering profession and learn about what differentiates it from other technical fields.  We will examine what engineers—specifically, mechanical engineers—contribute to the workforce.  You will also learn about the areas in which engineers can work or contribute professionally.

    We will then take a look at the design side of the engineering profession.  Many look upon this as the “core” element of engineering.  You will learn about project management and identify ways to successfully contribute to a group effort.  This unit will also explain the product design process, an essential element in mechanical engineering.  This unit will also cover professional ethics and oral and written communication.  You will use many of these skills in the final unit of this course and in several subsequent courses in the curriculum.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory

    This unit will take you approximately 11.25 hours to complete.

    ☐    Subunit 1.1: 6.5 hours

    ☐    Subunit 1.2: 0.25 hours

    ☐    Subunit 1.3: 4.5 hours

    Unit1 Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

    • define mechanical engineering;
    • describe the subfields of mechanical engineering;
    • distinguish mechanical engineering from other types of engineering;
    • describe important components of engineering design and project management; and
    • employ engineering measurements, units, and conversions.
  • 1.1 The Mechanical Engineer  

  • 1.1.1 What Is Engineering?  

    • Reading: Johns Hopkins University’s “What Is Engineering?”

      Link: Johns Hopkins University’s “What Is Engineering?” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the entire webpage.  This introduction to the field of engineering will give you a general understanding of the profession. 
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Massachusetts Institute of Technology: TechTV’s “What is Engineering?”

      Link: Massachusetts Institute of Technology: TechTV’s “What is Engineering?” (Adobe Flash)
       
      Also available in:

      Quicktime

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (2:03).  It will define engineering and introduce you to its various subfields.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.1.2 Introduction to Mechanical Engineering  

    • Reading: Michigan Technological University’s “What Is Mechanical Engineering?”

      Link: Michigan Technological University’s “What Is Mechanical Engineering?” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the entire webpage from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech University, which will introduce you to mechanical engineering.  In anticipation of future design projects in which you will be engaged, peruse the links for design projects at Michigan Tech.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Glasgow University: Margaret Lucas’ “What Is Mechanical Engineering?”

      Link: Glasgow University: Margaret Lucas’ “What Is Mechanical Engineering?” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (3:33), which will introduce you to the field of mechanical engineering.  Mechanical engineering is the broadest and most far reaching of the engineering fields.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Columbia University: School of Engineering and Applied Science’s “Introduction to Mechanical Engineering”

      Link: Columbia University: School of Engineering and Applied Science’s “Introduction to Mechanical Engineering” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (1:30), which will introduce you to the field of mechanical engineering and discuss the importance of the discipline.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.1.3 What Can You Do with Mechanical Engineering?  

    • Web Media: The University of Melbourne: Melbourne School of Engineering’s “What Can You Do with Mechanical Engineering?”

      Link: The University of Melbourne: Melbourne School of Engineering’s “What Can You Do with Mechanical Engineering?” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (4:24), which will introduce you to the various areas in which mechanical engineering can be used.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.1.4 The Cutting Edge of Mechanical Engineering  

    • Reading: University of California at Berkeley’s “Major Field and Research Areas”

      Link: University of California at Berkeley’s “Major Field and Research Areas” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and read each of the subsections in their entirety.  They describe disciplines and focus areas at the University of California at Berkeley but are indicative of the field of mechanical engineering as studied around the world.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: American Society of Mechanical Engineers Website

      Link: American Society of Mechanical Engineers Website (HTML)
                             
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and explore the site to gain an appreciation of the most current news in the field regarding technical developments and careers. 
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2 Engineering Design  

    Note: This section on engineering design will be revisited in upper-division courses and especially when you begin your final design project for this course.

  • 1.2.1 Introduction to the Design Process  

    • Web Media: Gray Wolf Innovations’ “Mechanical Engineering - The Design Process”

      Link: YouTube: Gray Wolf Innovations’ “Mechanical Engineering - The Design Process” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (5:49), which will introduce you to the process of designing and developing products.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2.2 Project Management  

    • Web Media: RMC Project Management’s “Getting Started With Project Management - An Introduction”

      Link: RMC Project Management’s “Getting Started with Project Management - An Introduction” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (6:04), which will introduce you to the concept of project management.  
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2.3 Project Scheduling and Example  

    • Web Media: True Solutions, Inc.’s “Developing Project Schedule”

      Link: YouTube: True Solutions, Inc’s “Develop Project Schedule” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (2:44), which will explain the importance of a project schedule.  It also gives an overview of the project schedule process and explains how to develop it.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Vose Software’s “Project Schedule Example”

      Link: Vose Software’s “Project Schedule Example” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (9:19), which will explain project scheduling with the help of an example.  This will give you a good understanding of the project scheduling process.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2.4 Team Project Environments  

    • Web Media: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Executive Office of Administration and Finance’s “Building Effective Project Teams”

      Link: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Executive Office of Administration and Finance’s “Building Effective Project Teams” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (7:43), which will explain the importance of building effective project teams and identifies their top characteristics.  It will also help you understand how to function in a matrix structure.

      Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.

  • 1.3 Measurements, Units , and Conversions  

    • Reading: Wikibooks’ “Introduction to Chemical Engineering Processes/Units”

      Link: Wikibooks “Introduction to Chemical Engineering Processes/Units” (PDF)
       
      Instruction: Please click on the link above and read the entire text, then repeat the example calculations on your own. This reading is geared towards Chemical Engineering students, but all the concepts discussed still apply to Mechanical Engineering.

      Terms of Use: This resource  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 3.0 License.  It is attributed to Wikibooks, and the original version can be found here.

    • Web Media: Barbara Bates’ “Units Conversions”

      Link: Barbara Bates’ “Units Conversions” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (7:03), which shows how to convert one unit of measure to another using a chart.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above

    • Web Media: Your Tutor Online’s “Units of Measure”

      Link: Your Tutor Online’s “How to Convert Units of Measure” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above and view the entire video (5:41), which shows how to convert one unit of measure to another.  Unit conversion is extremely important in engineering, so please pay careful attention.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.